"CrossFit is Crazy!?!?"

JohnKalil_2008If you've ever tried something new, something that is not necessarily within the scope of most people's experience, I'm sure you've been told that you're crazy.  Which is shortly followed by "you're going to get hurt", "it's not good for you", "you're going to put your eye out", etc.  I know that's what I was told over 40 years ago when I started training in the martial arts.  I heard the same thing when I started training with Russian Kettlebells back in 2000.  I won't even begin to tell you what I heard when I started doing CrossFit.

All I can say is listen to your heart and follow the path that makes you happy - and ignore the naysayers who will try to steal your dream and diminish your joy.  I know that John Kalil's (pictured) friends probably think he's crazy for doing CrossFit, but if you ask him he'll tell you he's never felt better or more alive.  If you don't believe me just ask him - he's at every class. BTW - that picture is from when John started training with us over TEN YEARS AGO!  John is still going strong at 76 years old and teaches several classes and clients every day!

Let me leave you with one of my favorite quotes:

"It's the same each time with progress. First they ignore you, then they say you are mad, then dangerous, then there is a pause and then you can't find anyone who disagrees with you."
- Tony Benn

Your Brain on Exercise

The United States leads the world in the consumption of antidepressants and mood altering drugs. The number of people that are consuming them on a daily basis is staggering and continues to grow.  What is even more alarming is that the average age that these drugs are being prescribed is getting younger and younger...

What can be done to slow or even reverse this trend? Exercise! Exercise is a tremendous effect on the mood and the whole neurological system. Does it matter what kind of exercise you do? Well, that's debatable. Some scientists believe that movement in and of itself is beneficial. Others believe that certain of movement is more beneficial to certain age groups.  What they ALL agree on is that movement is ESSENTIAL to maintaining your mental health and well being.

Check out this TED Talk by neuroscientist Wendy Suzuki on the mind changing benefits of exercise!

CrossFit Koncepts Mission Statement

IMG_7106The mission of CrossFit Koncepts is to develop every individual to their athletic potential; to restore strength, movement and vitality in their life.

To some, this will be to an Olympic, professional or semi-professional athlete, or even operational level. To others, it will be returning them to the strength, mobility and vitality they had in their youth.

We will accomplish this together by exposing them to a variety of athletic skills and scenarios that will challenge them both physically and mentally - while making the whole experience fun, challenging and exciting.

We will use coaching and teaching methods that have been honed over thousands of hours of working with clients from all walks of life, experience levels and abilities. 

We will strive to push, cajole and challenge our clients to improve their lives by improving their bodies.

Starting a fitness regimen is a daunting task for anyone. By surrounding yourself with people who are on the same path as you, your chances for success are much higher.

CrossFit Koncepts is committed to improving your life... are you?

Stand Up Straight!

Do you know how important your posture is?  Do you really? If you thought that it had an impact on your strength, energy level, respiration, and production of dopamine and serotonin - would you work harder on your posture?  Well you should because your posture impacts all of the things listed above and more.

Want to know more?  Check out Jordan B. Peterson's new book "12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos" and you will learn about this and much more!

Redefining Fitness

IMG_7076The following list (from CrossFit.com) defines fitness for everyone - the elite athlete, the tactical operator, and the mother of three kids.  All of these attributes are not only requisite for athletes, but for everyone, regardless of their "sport of choice".  Throughout the course of the day/week/life we will touch upon each, or upon several attributes, and our quality of life will be defined by how well we can meet (or exceed) those requirements.

The Ten Foundations of Fitness

  1. Cardiovascular/Respiratory Endurance - The ability of the body systems to gather, process and deliver oxygen.
  2. Stamina - The ability of the body systems to process, deliver, store and utilize energy.
  3. Strength - The ability of a muscular unit, or a combination of muscular units, to apply force.
  4. Flexibility - The ability to maximize the range of motion at a given joint.
  5. Power - The ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units, to apply maximum force in minimum time.
  6. Speed - The ability to minimize the time cycle of a repeated movement.
  7. Coordination - The ability to combine several distinct movement patterns into a singular distinct movement.
  8. Agility - The ability to minimize transition time from one movement pattern to another
  9. Balance - The ability to control the placement of the bodies center of gravity in relation to its support base.
  10. Accuracy - The ability to control movement in a given direction or at a given intensity

The beauty of this list is that it touches upon all the characteristics that an athlete, tactical operator, mother, father, etc., needs if they are going to thrive in the world.  (By extension, they also define what we should see in our children when they are at play - let's leave that subject for another day though.)

Some of these attributes may be God-given while others are only earned by sweat, blood and determination. Is there an epoch that any one person can reach in all the attributes or is it a never ending pursuit?  The decision is yours.  The only definite is that by pursuing these attributes individually and collectively you will not only improve yourself as an athlete, but as a human being as well.


What is World Class Fitness?

Can you define fitness in 100 words?  I don't know many people who can (trainers included), and those who attempt it spend a lot of time rambling on and on about cardio, exercise selection, reps and sets.  None (so far) has been able to make the correlation that fitness is a combination of fuel (food) and movement (exercise).  They'll figure it out sooner or later; then again maybe they won't.

IMG_7015CrossFit defines fitness as:

  • Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar.  Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat.
  • Practice and train major lifts: Deadlift, Clean, Squat, Presses, Clean and Jerk, and Snatch.  Similarly, master the basics of gymnastics: Pull-ups, Dips, Rope Climb, Sit-ups, Push-ups, Presses to Handstand, Pirouettes, Flips, Splits and Holds. Bike, run, swim, row, etc., hard and fast.
  • Five or six days per week mix these elements in as many combinations and patterns as creativity will allow.  Routine is the enemy.  Keep workouts short and intense.
  • Regularly learn and play new sports.

For a more complete understanding of this concept check out this article from the CrossFit Journal.

We at CrossFit Koncepts define fitness as:

  • Eat the highest quality and variety of food that you can on a daily basis. If it comes in a can, box or bag then it is immediately suspect.  Drink more water.
  • Practice moving KB's, bars, etc. from the ground to overhead.  Learn to master your bodyweight in all environments. If two hands are easy, use one.
  • Make workouts fun, varied, intense and comprised of multiple skills.
  • Learn new skills and sports regularly.

Not bad - we did it in 77 words!

Getting Stronger... Together!

Alone_teddy_by_jujudesignThere's a problem, actually a host of them, with doing something (important) on your own.

You only have your own experience to rely upon. This could be a real problem because if you don't have any (successful) experience to base your efforts on then you have no markers or reference points to tell you if you are doing the right thing.

You are accountable to only yourself. Having yourself as both monitor and motivator is going to be tough, really tough. You know for a fact that you will lie, whine and weasel your way out of doing things that you don't want to do (or are uncomfortable doing).

You will only push yourself so far. Experiencing intense physical effort is something that is completely and absolutely foreign to most people. Pushing your mind and body to work well outside its comfort zone is something that is scary and you will stop before you really experience it fully.

You really don't have the discipline to make yourself do it. Let's be honest for a moment. If you REALLY had the desire and the discipline to get yourself strong, mobile and healthy - then you would already be doing it.

Sounds pretty freaking dismal to me. I mean, what the hell are you going to do?

Let me make a suggestion. Let's look at the situation from a different perspective. Instead of tackling a problem, in this case your health and wellbeing, on your own, imagine you could assemble a team to help you. That team would be comprised of coaches, healthcare professionals, and people (just like you) who are trying to accomplish the same things that you are. Do you think that would make accomplishing your goal that much easier? I think it would...

Experience - If you were on a team that was led by a group of people who have over a CENTURY of experience training and transforming people; do you think your odds are better than doing this on your won?

Accountability - If you had a group of people who were as invested in your success as you are, and are going to be counting on you to show up and work as hard as they are; do you think your odds are better that doing this on your own?

Drive - If you were led by a team, who through example, will show you how much you can accomplish at any age and with any limitation; do you think your odds are better than doing this on your own?

Discipline - If you had a group of people, led by a team of dedicated individuals, that could show you how to create and foster the discipline that you need to succeed in the gym (and in life); do you think your odds are better than doing this on your own?

Let me finish with this: you can try to do this on your own and fail... again. Or you can do this with us and succeed beyond your wildest dreams. It's really up to you...

The Quest

What are you looking for when you go looking for a gym? It's a really interesting question and you're bound to get a ton of divergent answers; some good and some bad. What you are going to find is that everyone is looking for something different, at least on the surface, but they may not be even sure WHAT they are looking for and WHY they are looking for it.

Let me make it simple for you when it comes to CrossFit Koncepts. First I'll list the things we DON'T have (and never will) and then I'll list the things we DO. Then you can decide what is really important and what only seems important (at the surface).

What CrossFit Koncepts DOESN'T Have:

  • Pools, saunas or luxurious bathrooms... if you want those you should get them for your own home!
  • Machines (of any type), treadmills, or "stations"... you are the "machine" and cardio is best done in it's natural state (outside)!
  • Massage therapy, facials, or juice bars... there are a lot of places in the area that are better and more economical!
  • A team of "highly skilled" trainers to help you... you can pay them to watch you work out, check their phone, and keep you busy (not productive) for an hour!
  • Lots and lots of mirrors... so that you can take "selfies" of yourself at the gym (not working out)!
  • A group of people who are wearing headphones and avoiding eye contact... who are more self-conscious about their lack of progress than you are!

What CrossFit Koncepts DOES have:

  • A training facility, that has been around for over a decade... dedicated to creating people who are strong, mobile, healthy and are dedicated to training for life!
  • Not a single machine because you are the machine... you'll be using your body, some kettlebells, a bar and some simple but powerful tools; nothing more!
  • An association of professionals associated with our gym... from Chiropractors, Doctors, Physical Therapists and Massage Therapists that will work with you get you feeling and moving better!
  • A real team of highly skilled and experienced trainers... comprised of a Master RKC, six RKC's and four HKC's with a combined teaching and training experience of over one hundred years!
  • There's a mirror in the bathroom... but we'll be happy to take a picture of you before, during or after your workout!
  • A real community of people who want you to succeed... and who will help you be accountable and honest to your goals!

So think HARD about what you are really looking for when it comes choosing somewhere to train.  Are you going there to be "seen" or to make progress in your quest to feel and move better?  If you are anxious to be seen... then I highly suggest you look into a membership at Lifetime or LA Fitness; you will find what you are looking for there. If you are looking for progress and results... then I implore you to look into joining us at CrossFit Koncepts; you will find what you are looking for there.  

Training with the Mace

There are a lot of tools that are available for you to train with. They are all screaming for your attention and demanding your time and training dollars. The problem is that the majority of the tools you are training with do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to improve your overall strength, athletic ability, mobility and viability as an athlete or human being.  Here is a good rule of thumb: the more you see it on TV and the more you see others doing it, the least valuable it is to you.

So, your job is to find the tools that are going to make you stronger, move better and more resilient. Personally, I look for the simplest solution and the simplest tool to solve a problem.

My problem was, after years of abusing my shoulders lifting weights and training in the martial arts, I was desperate for relief from the pain. All I heard from my doctors was that I would need reconstructive surgery on one or both shoulders to relieve the pain. That was not the answer I was looking for... not even close. Before committing to a course of action (that was going to take months to recover from) I started asking some friends that I trusted what they would do.

The answer came from my friend Richard "Army" Maguire. After listening to what I was going through Army suggested that I start doing some Mace and Indian Club work to see if it would give me some relief. So, I started slinging Clubs and swinging the Mace for a few minutes a day.  Miraculously, after a couple weeks of devoting a couple minutes a day, my shoulder pain was reduced by about seventy percent... which was amazing! The longer I kept training with these two powerful tools the stronger and more resilient my shoulders became.

So, if you need some strength, mobility and resiliency in your shoulders... I would humbly suggest that you explore the Indian Clubs and the Mace to solve your problem!